THE Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has urged Nigerians to stop insulting his contemporaries because of his performance.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Public Relations and Strategy Isa Gusau, the governor said he usually felt uncomfortable whenever people praised him for providing better leadership than other governors in the country.
The governor cautioned social media influencers and other Nigerians against comparing him with other governors in the country.
He said each state had its peculiarities, and every governor had its priorities for its people. He said his performance should not attract comparison and unhealthy competition.
He attributed his developmental strides to the exigencies occasioned by 12 years of insurgency in the state.
Zulum said the crisis led to thousands of deaths and displaced about two million people with humanitarian needs.
Quoting the World Bank’s Recovery and Peace-Building Assessment Report on the North-East, the governor said the state lost 956,453 private houses, representing 30 per cent of the total number of houses in the state, to attacks by the terrorists.
Also, the state lost 665 municipal buildings comprising ministries, local government areas’ buildings, prisons, police stations and electric offices, he stated.
The governor said the insurgency consumed 5,335 classrooms and other school buildings in 512 primary schools, 38 secondary schools and two tertiary institutions in the state.
Similarly, 201 health centres, comprising primary healthcare clinics, dispensaries and some general hospitals, fell to the crisis.
“The insurgents also destroyed 726 power substations and distribution lines just like they destroyed 1,630 water sources including motorized boreholes, hand pumps, solar-powered boreholes and facilities for piped water schemes, and more.”
In July, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina extolled the governor in his weekly article ‘From the Inside: Fridays with Femi Adesina.’
Adesina titled his article, widely published across media platforms in the country, as: “Where did this Zulum emerge from?“
Zulum became the rector of Ramat Polytechnic, located in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, in 2011, before he was appointed commissioner of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement by Governor Kashim Shetima.
The governor has severally defied insurgents threats to visit some of the volatile areas of the state since he became governor in 2019.
His convoy has been attacked at least twice by the terrorists.
In September 2020, he reportedly lost 15 soldiers and others on his convoy to the attackers.
He has rebuilt many communities destroyed by insurgents, restored damaged infrastructures and other amenities.
He has also resettled many internally-displaced persons in the state and has empowered them.
Because of his leadership approach, some pundits believe his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), may field him for a federal position in the next general elections.